By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For 364 days out of the year, the County Road 21 bridge is just a bridge you drive under as you enter Minnesota from Wisconsin.

But for one day a year it becomes something very special — a place where complete strangers gather to remember.

“So many moms, husbands, and children lost their lives,” Suzanne Rode said. “Our firefighters and our military lost their lives.”

Suzanne’s husband, Paul, started this tribute 10 years ago.

But what’s unique is that he does this for 24 straight hours.

At midnight, four people joined him. By mid-day, there were 40. And on Tuesday evening, more than 100 turned the bridge into a patriotic passage.

“We are Americans,” Paul said. “We aren’t going to back down. We aren’t going to forget what happened. We will let them know that we stick together.”

There are returners, but also a new generation waving Old Glory. While a strong wind took American flags every which way, local firefighters took to I-94 to say thanks to those on the bridge.

Tomorrow, they will all be gone. But today, they kept their promise to “never forget.”

“I drove under the bridge this morning and it was just an incredible feeling,” Shannan Seibert said. “But being a part of that from this side, there are no words to describe it. It’s amazing.”


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